Warwick, RI — The Warwick PAL Patriots Jr. Cheerleaders need $17,400 by Nov. 30 to stay at Disney for the national Pop Warner Cheerleading & Dance Competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney, and they’ve raised $1,777 of that so far.
Team supervisor Christie-Beth Ventura posted a GoFundme.com fundraiser page to raise money for the girls’ stay within hours of their win at the regionals at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA. Families are handling the airfare themselves, and supervisors will pay their own travel and lodging, said Cheerleading Coordinator Kelly Gibb.
“They worked so hard to get this far and they made it,” Gibb said. “They were amazed.”
Gibb said this is the first time in 10 years that Warwick cheerleaders have earned a spot as national competitors. In 2005, a Warwick cheerleading team made the nationals but didn’t attend. She said if the their team makes the trip, they may be the first Warwick cheer team to compete in the nationals in recent memory.
The national competition is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the girls, most of whom are 12-year-olds who have been cheerleaders since they were 5-years-old.
Though there are 30 members on the team, one girl won’t be able to attend due to a prior commitment, so they’re raising money for 29 cheerleaders to attend. It’ll cost $600 per girl, Gibb said.
The team isn’t just relying on the Gofundme page, however. They’re also accepting donations via mail at: Warwick Patriots Jr. Midget Cheer Team, 80 Bend St., Warwick, RI 02889. Checks should be made out to Warwick Police Athletic League, Att: Jack Paliotte, c/o Warwick Patriots Jr. Midget Cheer Team.
On Saturday, Nov. 28, the team will host a fundraising breakfast at the FOP hall on Warwick Avenue. Tickets are limited due to space, but are available through a team coach for $10. Children six and younger attend for free.
T-shirts bearing the title: Property of Warwick PAL Athletics will be available for sale on Elite T Screen Printing and Embroidery’s website, and also at their store at 1001 Sandy Lane.
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